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Discussion Starter #1
New Vitara owner here and just wondering... Are they any model specific issues that are typical for the 1G Vitaras (especially for the 1999 models)? Seems like every make/model cars has their foibles and model specific forums, like this one, are a great pool of information.
 

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Just do the search, or pour over the thread subject lines, note the "Sticky" threads and read the more popular posts. ;)

It's all there.
 

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A 99 Grand Vitara in your corner of the world may not be the same as a 99 Grand Vitara in my corner of the world (in fact, I'll take a bet they are different), so tell us where you are and what you have - engine size, transmission type, 2WD/4WD, 2dr/3dr/5dr, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's actually the not-so-grand variety. It's a 99 Vitara JX 4Dr, 4WD, AT, 2.0L engine.
 

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That would be a Grand in my corner of the world - in fact - that's what I have, except that mine is a 5 speed.

With any "new-to-you" vehicle it's generally a good idea to do a full fluid & filter change, so engine oil & filter, air filter, plugs, accessory drive belts, transmission fluid, transfer case & differential fluids - that way you know when last it was changed.

Now - issues specific to that model - neglected oil changes on the 2.0 can give rise to timing chain issues - listen to the engine from a cold start, anything more than a few seconds of rattle is cause for concern, but be aware that the serpentine belt pulleys can also be the source of a front end rattle on startup - when you have the belts off, spin the idler & tensioner pulleys, they should be smooth & silent.

Check the front differential for signs of leakage on the right axle seal - that side has no support bearing and will sometimes give trouble - there is a nylon support bushing fix that may or may not have been installed - look at the front of the diff where the fill hole is - is there a second boss with no hole for a plug? If there isn't you have the early axle and need to lift the front of the vehicle so the bumper is 29" from ground level before refilling the diff or you won't be able to get enough oil in.

Idle the engine, select 4H and watch the 4WD light - it should come on with 1~2 seconds of your selecting 4H and might blink once or twice, but should not be flashing, if it is you have an air leak in the front freewheel mechanism that needs to be looked at - by the way - this is a part time 4WD system, so do not drive in 4WD on a hard surface.

Can't think of more right now, these are pretty good vehicles and once they have been cared for will give good service.
 

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Faults, what faults?

The only problem with these cars is that they go anywhere, anytime. With the modest mods I've done to my 2004 model it's amazing where it will go. I have to hold off so I don't over do it or I'll never hear the end of it. Bless the Suzuki company for creating this masterpiece of a car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Fordem. That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Hopefully, Tono, I'll have the same luck that you've had with your Vitara. Just curious, what "modest mods" have you made to your Vitara?
 

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Modest mods?

1) 2" ARB suspension with 200KG rear springs.
2) General Tire Grabber AT2 235/70/R16. (28 PSI for off-road)
3) 10 years with the Sydney chapter of the Toyota Landcruise Club. They teach you how to read the track.
4) A selectively deaf ear on the left side ear. "You're going to kill me or we'll never make it" etc etc.
It's much easier in a convoy situation.
Of course it's not near a full blown 4X4 so you have to know your limits. That's why a convoy is so much better and you can get assistance immediately.
Anyway, have a go and use your head.
Cheers,
Tono
 
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